Is your toddler always refusing that glass of milk? Are you worried your toddler is not getting enough calcium for his proper growth and development?
Calcium is extremely important for your toddler’s overall health. Read on to know how calcium helps in your toddler’s growth and about the various food sources that are rich in it.
Why Is Calcium For Toddlers Important?
Calcium is crucial to help build strong bones and teeth in your toddler. It also promotes muscle and nerve function in your toddler and helps with blood clotting. Calcium is also important to activate the enzymes that help convert food into energy in your toddler’s body.
Your toddler’s teeth and bones store almost 99 percent of his body’s entire calcium. At this age, new bones, teeth and muscles are growing in your toddler’s body at all times. This is why your toddler needs a good amount of calcium to support healthy growth of bones, muscles and teeth.
[ Read: Food Ideas for Toddlers ]
How Much Calcium For Toddlers Is Required?
Your toddler will need about 500 to 700 mg of calcium per day depending on his overall health. Speak to your toddler’s doctor about the toddler calcium requirement. Your toddler will most likely be a fussy eater and his eating patterns may not be the same each day. Try and fulfill this dosage requirement over a period of the entire week instead on a daily basis.
Calcium Rich Foods For Toddlers:
You of course know that milk is one of the biggest and good sources of calcium for toddlers. Here are some calcium rich food sources that will help your toddler get his recommended dosage of calcium:
1. Milk And Other Dairy Products:
Make sure your toddler has at least two servings of any dairy based product in a day. You can give your toddler either whole or low-fat milk, depending on what works best with his digestion. A glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, two to three slices of cheese or a few cubes of cheese are all good sources of calcium.
2. Fortified Food Items:
Your toddler may be fussy when it comes to drinking milk or be lactose intolerant. This does not mean that your toddler has to miss out on calcium. You can easily compensate the lack of milk in your toddler’s diet by incorporating other calcium fortified food items. Go for calcium fortified orange juice, calcium fortified cereals or breads, calcium fortified soy milk, rice milk or even tofu.
[ Read: Finger Foods Ideas For Your Toddler ]
3. Other Calcium Rich Food Sources:
Other calcium rich foods that you can make a part of your toddler’s diet are dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, spring onions, peas, beans and more. Spinach is a great source of calcium for your toddler. A single cup of spinach is loaded with 200 mg of calcium. Foods like egg yolks, salmon and even beef are great sources of calcium.
My Toddler Isn’t Allergic But Does Not Like Milk Or Milk Based Foods. What Can I Do?
You can always sneak in milk and milk based foods in your toddler’s diet. The trick will be to mask the taste of milk and other milk based foods. Instead of using water as a main ingredient in hot chocolate, puddings, oatmeal or pancakes, add milk. While making a smoothie, add yogurt along with the fruits. You can also make a delicious dip using yogurt and other ingredients. This will mask its taste and serve as a healthy dip for your toddler. You can always add crumbled cheese into your toddler’s foods like omelets, toasts, vegetables and such. Add it to regular vegetables or mask it inside meatballs or wraps. The cheese will provide a creamy taste and texture to your toddler’s food while also being healthy.
[ Read: Nutritional Requirements For Toddlers ]
Calcium is an important mineral for your toddler’s growth and development. Your toddler’s body needs vitamin D to be able to absorb the calcium from food. In addition to calcium rich foods, remember to take your toddler out in the sunshine every day for some time.
Calcium is a vital nutrient for a growing child. What are your thoughts about the article? Please share them by commenting below. Simultaneously, do share this among your friends and family.
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